Tuesday Oct 14, 2008

Bromptons on Eurostar

When taking a Brompton on Eurostar make sure you have a cover for it or they won't let you on the train. Quite why I don't know since I do have a cover and believe it or not could not be bothered to get into an argument with them.

Once covered they have no problem with them. The next gripe would be google maps. It does not offer routes for cyclists and at least in France does not show hills. Specifically the hill between the station and the Sun Office in Velizy.

Friday May 09, 2008

What is better than not owning a Brompton?

...not owning two Bromptons!

As I mentioned previously there is a rule in the house that you can only own three bikes which thankfully since the Brompton is leased not owned meant I was o.k. However the lease runs out after a year at which point the bike goes back or I can buy it. If I buy it I break the three bikes rule. Hence the problem. Simon suggested that I claim that the Brompton is not a bike, which I thought was an interesting defence but since it clearly has 2 wheels (bi) and can be cycled it would be a bicycle. Although I may yet try that defence in the future, I mean for goodness sake look at the picture. You can't ride them like that!

The other problem is that is just seems wrong not to take advantage of the bike scheme. A Tax free bike to ride, where is the downside?

So I signed on for a second year and ordered an identical model\* having found a suitable home for the first one (my sister needs a brommy). When the lease runs out I'll buy the first Brompton and on the same day sell it to her so at close of business I still don't own one.

I think I may never need to have a Brompton that is more than a year old......

\* It is not completely identical as the new model now has a clip that will stop the rear wheel dropping if you lift the saddle. Useful if you are man handling a bike down station steps. I can confirm it is both useful and easy to use.

Friday Nov 02, 2007

Brompton psssssss

I had my first puncture on the Brompton last week. Riding back from Kingston, just what a great idea that is, drive in with Sue and my daughter who plan to go shopping, something I can't stand but I'm required for the first half hour. So do my bit of looking at things (alas no success the only one that was acceptable was out of budget, way out of budget) I go back to the car get the Brompton and cycle home. Leaving them to shop, best for everyone.

Anyway I digress. On the way back, fortunately really near home, I hear I click, click, click from the front wheel and stop to see I have a drawing pin stuck in it. Two options. Leave the pin in and you may get home, but may destroy the tyre, take it out and you are less likely to get home but the tyre should be ok. I went with option two and raced home fast enough to be home before it was a problem.

Then since I've not really fixed punctures for years, new tubes are cheap and the number of punctures I get small so I just replace them. I went straight on to the web and ordered a pair of tubes (the folly of this is well known to other cyclists. 2 tubes £4.501 each, post+packing £2.00 but free for orders over £50, well I do need some lights for the kids bikes (that is actually true) and I new bag to go on my winter bike (for some definition of need also true) suffice to say I did not pay postage and packing and still kept the bill in two digits, just).

A few days later they arrive and in the evening I fit the new tube. First the Brompton does not have quick release wheels. I'm struggling to recall the last bike I owned, not that I own the Brompton, that did not have QR, but the Brompton does not. No problem there but then there are lots of fiddly washers and bits attached to the axle to loose. Then replacing the wheel there is no QR on the brake so you must no pump up the tyre before fitting the wheel. It was like being back in the '70s, something I always try to avoid, when I mucked around with old bikes.

I certainly would not want all that hassle at the side of the road.

So my plan for any future puncture is to simply fold the bike and call a cab.

1I suspect that they are so expensive as they are low volume products. That is not many are sold as opposed to them not holding much air, which is also true.

Wednesday Jun 20, 2007

Another bike I don't own

There is a rule in our house, one that I think needs overturning, that no one is allowed to own more than three bikes. Hence when the triplet was bought is is “owned” by the whole family as my bike quota is used up.

Today I took delivery of a Yellow Brompton with three speed hub gear, as between the Brompton and the Bike shop they could not order a two speed bike, hub “SON” dynamo. This is a practical bike to use when I have to get a train.

Luckily for me this is via the Bike 2 Work scheme so it does not belong to me, it belongs to Sun, hence I remain below the three bike limit. No need to renegotiate the “rule” yet.

Tuesday May 15, 2007

Initial Thoughts on Chicago

I've travelled to the United States a lot, but nearly always to the same area. That being the San Francisco Bay area. Now for a change I am in Chicago, and no Dave I can't “prove” it using plazes which while fun and geeky I have problems with the idea that anyone would care.

Anyway my initial thoughts on Chicago:

  1. Watching the Blues Brothers entirely prepares you for using a Taxi here. Research based on a single trip from the Airport which well was interesting. Apparently the tyres on cars here really do squeal around every corner like they do in the movies. The trouble with this is that the other things that cars do in movies is explode if there is the slightest crash hence the Blues Brothers being a perfect preparation. None of the cars in the Blues Brothers exploded. We did not crash, I'm still not sure how.

  2. Don't trust the Doorman at the Hotel to mark on a map where you are. Unbelievably he did not seem to know beyond telling me which street I'm in.

  3. The Police use Segways. Really. If I had been quicker with the camera I would show you.

  4. I wish my Brompton I have on order had turned up in time to bring it. The ideal vehicle for escaping the Police.

  5. It's not that Windy, not yet anyway. It is however Pretty and they ain't got what we got...Sorry getting carried away.


This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com


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